Project Waterfall Update
How Your daily coffee has helped over 6.5k people access clean drinking water in Jabi Tehnan in just one year.
Here at Best Coffee we’re proud supporters of Project Waterfall; a programme to bring clean water, sanitation and education to coffee growing communities. As well as joining in with annual UK Coffee Week initiatives, we also have this incredible product in our shop, which channels funds straight to Project Waterfall with every purchase. The bespoke coffee filter papers created by Hario in conjunction with the charity support work in coffee growing communities all over the world.
Since 2011 Project Waterfall has raised over £1 million and changed more than 50,000 lives in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Rwanda, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Recently we received an update that’s too exciting not to share with you all.
The Jabi Tehnan Project
Jabi Tehnan is a coffee growing district in North-west Ethiopia where a staggering 75% of people don’t have access to clean drinking water, and 95% of the rural population don’t have access to decent sanitation.
In 2018 Project Waterfall started working in the region on a mission to improve life for over 10,000 people by 2022; bringing them clean water, sanitation and hygiene education.
Despite the challenges of Covid, in the last year the team have stepped up their efforts. In fact, because the challenges of Covid; it’s even more important to make sure communities have access to adequate handwashing facilities and are as prepared for the virus as possible.
In the last year the project has delivered an impressive litany of successes, including:
- 1 community has a permanent, continuous source of clean water while a further 7 public, and one school water points have been completed in the region.
- Pipework, storage tanks and construction of a springbox have all been completed. A springbox collects water that flows underground & protects it from contamination.
- Testing has been completed on all local water supply systems to ensure water safety.
- Local communities have been involved at every step of the way.
- Two new toilet blocks were built at Weynima Primary School, included cubicles for students and teachers with disabilities.
- Sanitation training was given to local communities, including 63 key representatives receiving in-depth key training on hygiene behaviour problems & solutions.
- 100 households have built their own latrine, and 420 households built their own handwashing facilities following the promotion of sanitation, raising the number of newly build & renovated latrines to 1136 so far.
- 18 female students and teachers have been trained in menstrual hygiene management, 631 female students benefited from the distribution of sanitary pads & schools have raised money themselves to purchase more as well as bine for their safe disposal.
- Health education was delivered to 3420 community members at organised events.
These are just the highlights from the last year of hard work for Project waterfall and the people of Jabi Tehnan. While it may be difficult for us to imagine the daily and long-term problems associated with a lack of water & sanitation; the project’s interview with Gash, articulates it perfectly.
“I am just grateful to be alive. I have lived through several plagues in which people’s lives were as cheap as cabbage. We buried seven to eight people a day…if it gets in the household, it would not leave until it finished everyone. As time went by the river water became dirtier and dirtier and we started getting sick, now we collect our water from a nearby village.”
He goes on to describe the frustration of having to collect water from a guarded pump which can take 40 minutes to reach on foot. This is traditionally a job assigned to women and girls who, once they reach their destination must queue all day with over 500 other households for their turn to collect water from the pump, sometimes having to give up and come back the next day.
With just 40 litres of water for his whole family for the week Gash must manage his family’s usage expertly to make it last. To put that in context: the average person in the UK will get through around 150 litres of water EACH.
As well as the educational and economic impact to have one family member (usually a female child) dedicate a whole day to collecting water; Gash says he could transform his family’s fortunes with access to a good supply of water. “I have 1.25 hectares of land and only 0.125 of that is covered by coffee…and the rest is covered with seasonal crops such as green pepper and wheat that need only the winter rain. If I had enough water, I would cover it all with coffee because of its commercial value to me. A small cupful of coffee is worth as much as a kilo of wheat.”
Thanks to our customer’s continued support of Project Waterfall, through buying our collaborating product; over the next 4 years more than 10,000 people in Gash’s community with be reached with clean drinking water and vastly improved sanitation.
Let’s keep up the good work!
Or make a donation to Project Waterfall here.